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Daniel Röck, Lydia Marahrens, Raimar Kern, Tjalf Ziemssen, Andreas Fritsche, Focke Ziemssen; Knowledge about diabetic retinopathy: Patients vs. Professionals (diabetologists, diabetes advisors). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):121.
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Extensive revisions have recently been made to the treatment recommendations for diabetic macular edema. In order to achieve a better disease management the cooperation with other disciplines is of utmost importance.
A survey was adpopted to the Eye-Q test (® National Eye Institute, translated into German). The patient version of the questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge in the DiabCheck® trial cohort, a non-interventional prospective cross-sectional study in secondary diabetes care centers. All patients were included after diagnose of diabetes and underwent also a comprehensive eye examination. In addition, health care professionals answered the same questions in attendance of the 49th congress of the German Diabetologic Society (DDG). 190 physicians and 90 diabetes advisors participated. For comparison, a total score was calculated after checking for correct answers. The statistical evaluation of focus areas was done using SPSS software package (significance level α=0.05).
The mean score of the persons with diabetes was 4.9 (of 9 possible points, answers for n=797 of 880). Although the large majority was aware of the need of yearly examinations by an ophthalmologist (782 of 806), a considerable number (272 of 805) did expect early warning signs in the presence of retinopathy. The importance of metabolic control was well established (689 of 806). Dry eye (25%), cataract (34%) and glaucoma (34%) were underestimated eye complications.<br /> In the 280 diabetes caregivers, the unawareness of glaucoma (69%), dry eye (54%) and cataract (40%) was even higher. Health professionals had a mean total score of 6.8, with diabetologists (7.5), specialists for internal medicine (7.2) and primary care physicians (7.0) having superior results to diabetes counselors (5.8) and assistants (5.7). No difference in scores was found based on the number of years in practice. Questions regarding prevention were answered correctly by ≥60% of the professionals (n=280). However, knowledge gaps were detected regarding newer techniques (correct answers i] use of OCT: 38% ii] intravitreal drugs: 16%).
Health care professionals were found to have a superior knowledge in contrast to the persons affected. However, regarding the broad field of eye complications and especially more recent diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, a regular refreshment of education content seems to be important.
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